Things to Do

Frequently Asked Questions


What to do in Houston with kids?


There are lots of things to do with kids in Houston. Here are some of the highlights and top attractions:

  • Downtown Aquarium: The 500,000-gallon under-water adventure complex includes a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit and a restaurant.
  • Kemah Boardwalk: Overlooking Galveston Bay, the Kemah Boardwalk features themed restaurants, retail shops, and amusements for the whole family.
  • Space Center Houston: the official visitors center for NASA's Johnson Space Center, is the only place on earth where guests can embark on an out-of-this-world journey through human adventures in space.
  • Children's Museum of Houston - CyberchaseThe Children's Museum of Houston: is all-new and now twice as big! Rated a 5-star nationwide children's museum by, it's one of the top children's museums in the country.
  • The Health Museum: the most visited health museum in the country, provides innovative and interactive health and science educational experiences to promote an understanding of the human body.
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science: one of the most heavily attended museums in the U.S., features the Wortham IMAX Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, Cockrell Butterfly Center, permanent exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions.
  • Houston Zoo: Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Houston Zoo is home to more than 4,500 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.
  • Zuma Fun Centers: With two locations in Houston, Zuma Fun Centers are the place for family entertainment, birthday parties and group events, with attractions including go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and a state-of-the-art video arcade.
  • Discovery Green: a 12-acre park located in downtown Houston, has more than 400 events each year.  There is always something going on!

Need more suggestions? Check out our full, three-day family itinerary.


What are Houston's must-see attractions?


There are many iconic places that are on Houston's Must-See list. Here are some of the top attractions in Houston:

Now you can explore more and save at Houston's top attractions! CityPASS gives you access to the top attractions in the city for only $51 for adults (a savings of $45 per person) and $41 for children (a savings of $33 per child). A CityPASS provides a map, info on the best times to visit each attraction, editorial content from National Geographic Traveler and more. The attractions included on the pass are:

You can buy CityPasses online, at any of the attractions or at the Houston Visitors Center.

The city also has a diverse and quirky side! Houston offers a diverse and eccentric art scene filled with contemporary and progressive works. Don't miss the following while in H-town 


What is Houston's nightlife like?


Houston's nightlife scene includes dance clubs, pubs, lounges and bars. Here's our list of some of the top places to go in the city.  Houston comes to life after dark with sleek lounges, laid-back pubs, and LED-happy clubs to keep you moving. Here is a complete list of nightlife options. Below are suggestions in specific parts of the city.

There are a lot of bars in this area. The intersection at Bagby and Gray Streets is a good place to start.

Front Porch Pub & Cyclone Anayas are both great for margaritas. For some classic fun, check out Howl at the Moon and their dueling piano bar, once you wrap up Pub Fiction is right next door.

Washington Avenue is a major nightlife hot spot in Houston!
Check out Hughes Manor (it's an expansive gastropub with a beautiful patio) the interactive Kung Fu Saloon and the low-key Liberty Station 

There are many other pubs and bars along the street, too.

Exterior of Armadillo Palace in Houston

Country Western Bars
Armadillo Palace 
Local flavor and southern charm collide inside this cowboy-chic country bar.

Firehouse Saloon 
The Firehouse is a large music club and bar reminiscent of an adult amusement park, with the Eagles on the jukebox, fancy video games, a full bar, outdoor-style wooden booths and a stage for live music.

Wild West 
This country nightclub was built and is operated by Texans and features a solid oak dance floor just for your boots!

Enjoy live music seven nights a week in Houston’s historic Rice Hotel.

La Carafe
The oldest haunt in Houston, La Carafe wine bar is less a ghost than a piece of living history, a timeless challenge to the contemporary nightclub scene.

OKRA Charity Saloon
A group of independent restaurant and bar owners has launched a unique concept--a bar where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to charity.


Where are the best places to shop in Houston?


Shopping in Houston is an experience where shoppers can find the perfect piece at designer boutiques, deluxe malls, and bargain-filled centers. 

Here are some of the top places to go for shopping and guides to get you started.

In downtown, GreenStreet has a flagship Forever 21 store and BCBG. The tenant list continues to grow. 

Visit the 4th largest shopping center in the country! The Galleria has more than 375 shops, with everything from Chanel to Banana Republic. There is also an entire wing of restaurants, an ice rink, and two hotels. Other great places to go areRice Village  (where Dao Chloe Dao is located), Uptown ParkHighland Village, The Heights.

Shopping tips and guides:


What are inexpensive things to do in Houston?


There are plenty of cheap and free things to do in Houston if you're on a budget. Here's our list of things to do that well let you stretch your dollars:

Houston is an affordable city that stretches your buck. That means more fun for you.

CityPass, which is essentially Cliff's Notes for the city gives you access to the top attractions in the city for only $59 for adults and $49 for children. A CityPass provides a map, info on the best times to visit each attraction, editorial content from National Geographic Traveler and more. The attractions included on the pass are:

You can buy CityPASSes online, at any of the attractions or at the Houston Visitors Center.

These museums are ALWAYS FREE:

Here are FREE TIMES for the other museums.
General Admission Only


What are things to do in Houston during a layover or in one day?


If you're in Houston for just a day or looking for things to do during your layover, there are plenty of places nearby. 

If you're flying into IAH, you can take a Metro bus into Downtown or a cab (about $55). If you're flying into Hobby, then you'll need to take a cab (about $45 to downtown).

Head downtown and visit Discovery Green park and The Heritage Society. The Grove is a lovely restaurant inside the park that would be a good lunch spot. You could also explore downtown by downloading audio walking tours--it's a really cool way to learn about the city. From downtown, you can also take the light rail and visit the Museum District and Hermann Park. There are so many lovely places there, including the Museum of Fine ArtsHouston Museum of Natural ScienceThe Menil Collection, and more. 

Or if you like to shop, take a cab (about $35) to The Galleria. You'll find 375 shops, an ice rink, and an entire wing of great restaurants. Less than a mile away are two more shopping centers, Uptown Park and Highland Village.

If you want to stay near IAH, there is the National Museum of Funeral History. It's a quirky place whose motto is "the everyday above ground is a good one."

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